Love My Air Denver Loved 2019!
Winter is here! Time to build snow people, ski, or cozy up with a good book in front of a fire. Did you know that wintertime in Denver also means an increase in particulate matter (PM) air pollution? Due to temperature inversions in the atmosphere, pollution gets trapped near the surface. Cars, industry, and wood-burning fires are large sources of fine PM that accumulate in Denver in winter. Love My Air Denver is trying to change this trend and help Denver’s communities to live better, longer.
A Year in the Rearview Mirror: The inaugural year of Love My Air Denver has been exhilarating! Ten pilot schools are fully equipped with dashboards receiving real-time PM2.5 (fine particulate matter) data. An additional 13 schools joined the program by year-end. From the beginning, focus groups have assisted in the development of this project and continue to provide helpful feedback to establish the practices we use and guide us in making adjustments.
The Road Ahead: 2020 brings even more hope! In an effort to educate school-aged children about PM pollution, Love My Air Denver is rolling out school curricula designed for grades ranging from elementary through high school. “When students understand pollution,” Community Engagement Coordinator Aubrey Burgess explains, “how it is created and how it affects our health, they become empowered to take action for themselves and their community.” All 40 schools that enter the program will be supplied with curricula to engage and educate their students.
In 2020, Love My Air will release a Public Service Announcement about idling vehicles. “Parents often idle their cars while waiting to pick up their kids.” says Love My Air Program Manager Michael Ogletree. “Since vehicle exhaust is a major contributor to PM, we want to reach our residents with a powerful message encouraging anti-idling.” The message will clearly communicate how turning off your engine can help protect kids from acute PM exposure.